PETALING JAYA, June 9 — Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has defended transgender women following author JK Rowling’s controversial Twitter posts on gender identity.
The star, who played the titular character in the film adaptations of Rowling’s books about a young wizard, shared a statement through non-profit LGBTQ organisation The Trevor Project saying that he hoped Rowling’s comments would not “taint” the series for fans.
Radcliffe, 30, was firm in his defence of transgender women and shared that 78 per cent of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity.
“Transgender women are women.
“Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either (Rowling) or I,” he said.
The British actor also apologised to Harry Potter fans who felt that Rowling’s tweets had “tarnished” and “diminished” their enjoyment of the fantasy series.
“I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.
“... if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred.”
Rowling previously sparked anger on Twitter after sarcastically critiquing an op-ed article that used the inclusive term “people who menstruate” in its headline.
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” she wrote.
The author went on to say that such language was tantamount to “erasing the concept of sex,” a claim that was quickly refuted by several Twitter users who said she was conflating the idea of sex with gender.
“Sex is real. No one wants to erase the concept of sex. What is being discussed is gender which is a different thing.
“Trans men were born female, biologically, which, therefore, means they menstruate,” explained one Twitter user.
“Literally NO ONE said the concept of sex or women is erased. The only thing erased here is YOU erasing the legitimacy of trans folks.
“Please reconsider where you stand here, for trans folks and for so many who used to idolise you,” said another.
This isn’t the first time Rowling has been accused of being anti-transgender on Twitter.
The 54-year-old previously came under fire after she tweeted her support for British researcher Maya Forstater, who lost her job after expressing what she deemed as “gender critical” views, including the notion that it is “impossible to change (one’s) sex.”
The New York Times reported that an employment tribunal in London ended up ruling against Forstater, calling her beliefs “incompatible with human dignity and (the) fundamental rights of others.”